Saturday, November 23, 2013

Singlehanded Kayak Loading--Onto the Car with a Bad Back...

... or if you short, or even exhausted after miles of paddling.

This is so obvious it should be in the owners manual. They should use it as a sales pitch. But it didn't occur to me until after returning from a trip with our stuff piled in the driveway, that most kayak wheels look kind of like a bike rack with wheels instead of arms. They have the same padding and the same angle, and at least one strap for securing wheels to the boat.

  1. Secure the existing strap to the roof rack with the padded arms straddling the break in the roof line.
  2. Secure a second line to the bottom of the hatch to hold it down. I had to add this one, a few minutes work.
  3. Roll it up and then flip it over to better secure.

Yes, this can be done simply with a blanket or large towel, but by the time you secure the towel that takes time. Fail to secure the towel and you'll lose paint for certain. The heavier the boat and the higher the roof, the better the wheels work.

 While I don't have any trouble simply lifting kayaks onto my Forrester (pictured), the wheels are a BIG help when loading onto a high SUV or van, which is nearly impossible for a 5'8" guy; I simply run out of height by the time I reach over the rack.

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